In 2022, E-Comm worked with local and provincial government partners to build support for a new provincial mandate for 9-1-1 in B.C., including a new governance and funding model. Municipally-funded 9-1-1 services in B.C. face a number of pressures, including growing call volumes, necessary and costly technology improvements, and coverage gaps in parts of the province.
In September 2023, local governments endorsed a special resolution at the Union of BC Municipalities convention, calling for a new provincial mandate for 9-1-1 services in B.C., including new provincewide service standards, governance model and provincial funding, through a levy on monthly cell phone bills.
E-Comm is very supportive of these efforts to strengthen the governance and funding of 9-1-1 services in B.C., which are currently the responsibility of regional districts. To date, there has been a lack of consistent, provincewide policies and service standards, creating inequities between urban and rural, remote and Indigenous communities.
We believe a new provincial agency, with an improved governance, funding and operational model, and strong local government representation, is the most effective way to implement these improvements, including the planning of NG9-1-1. As the current 9-1-1 service provider, E-Comm could be ideally positioned to become this new provincially-governed agency. Regardless, a new solution is urgently needed.
Read the BC Government’s March 2023 Announcement.